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Flashcards in housing Deck (12)
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1

Why housing matters

Material living conditions
strong link to health and wellbeing
Economic: an asset .. shapes the distribution of wealth and patterns of inequality
Social: main site of family practices, ‘private life’
Cultural: representation of dreams and aspirations
Political/ideological:
‘an Englishman’s home is his castle’
‘a property owning democracy’

2

Housing problems
then

Poor living/sleeping/
cooking conditions
Effects of poor housing conditions on health
Overcrowding

3

housing problems
now

Availability
Affordability
Adequacy


4

What is housing policy ?

Government action, legislation or economic policies which have a direct or indirect effect on

Availability: the supply of housing

Affordability of housing: to buy or to rent

Adequacy: housing standards

5

What is special about housing policy ?

Housing highlights the complex nature of needs – just because someone has a roof over their head doesn’t mean their housing needs are being met. Thin/thick needs

Housing is closely connected to other areas of policy, especially health

Housing policy can mitigate or deepen social divisions and inequalities by regulating access to affordable, good quality accommodation

Has underpinned a shift from ‘rights-based’ to ‘assets-based’ welfare

Compared to other areas of policy, the market plays a bigger role in allocating resources and meeting needs, and the role of the market has become more important since the PWWS

6

UN Report (December 2013)

“The UK faces a critical situation in terms of
availability,
affordability and
access to adequate housing,
particularly in some geographic areas.”
“some policies and practices which have resulted in the progressive realization of the right to adequate housing are being eroded, and that the structural shape of the housing sector has changed to the detriment of the most vulnerable.”

Report of the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living. (UN December 2013)
“The UK faces a critical situation in terms of
availability,
affordability and
access to adequate housing,
particularly in some geographic areas.”
“some policies and practices which have resulted in the progressive realization of the right to adequate housing are being eroded, and that the structural shape of the housing sector has changed to the detriment of the most vulnerable.”

7

What is the right to adequate housing ?

“the right to adequate housing should not be considered narrowly. It includes guaranteeing various aspects, such as security of tenure, affordability, accessibility, location and cultural adequacy.”

8

1880s to 21st century3 phases/paradigms of housing policy

Changing ideas about the role of the state
Changing ideas about social rights
Each paradigm based on a utopian ideal to connect people’s dreams about housing to the aims, instruments and settings of housing policy.

9

Paradigm 1: housing policy before state intervention Late19th and early 20th centuriesParadigm 1: housing policy before state intervention Late19th and early 20th centuries

Widespread 19th century squalor
Most housing privately rented
V. limited state intervention
1885/1890 Housing of the Working Classes Acts
local authorities have power to shut down unhealthy houses, making landlords personally liable for their tenants' health. The Act also made it illegal for landlords to let property which was below elementary sanitary standards.

Industrial paternalism
Model housing schemes
Philanthropy
Octavia Hill and the deserving poor

10

Paradigm 2: the rise of state interventionearly to mid 20th century

The rise of interventionism

1909 Housing & Town Planning Act – first government subsidies to local authorities to build houses (availability)

1915 Rent Restrictions Act – controls on rents private landlords can charge (affordability)

1918 Tudor Walters report on housing design standards and social mix of residents (adequacy)

State builds 4 million homes

11

1940s-1970s: the high point of social democracy

Housing and the postwar welfare settlement

War damage / reconstruction

1947 Town and Country Planning Act – controls to prevent speculative/haphazard development and ensure land available for affordable housing

Local authority building programmes: 300,000 houses / year throughout 1950s/1960s

Public investment in housing supply

Housing seen as part of citizenship rights
UN commends the United Kingdom for its history of ensuring that low- and middle-income households have access to adequate housing and have been protected from insecure tenure forms and poor housing conditions. People in the United Kingdom have a deeply anchored trust in their right to housing, regardless ofincome or other status. (2013 Rolnik Report)

12

Paradigm 3: Neo liberalism: the triumph of the market in the late 20th /early 21st century

The financialisation of housing
the increasing importance of financial markets, financial motives, financial institutions, and financial elites in the operation of the economy and its governing institutions, both at the national and international levels

Deregulation of financial institutions (1986) makes cheap mortgages available
Government policy favours home ownership
Public spending on housing shifted out of housebuilding into individual subsidies (tax relief on mortgages, rent subsidies) from the 1970s
Privatisation of local authority housing through individual sales (1980 ‘Right to Buy’ Act) and stock transfers to housing associations – 50% sold by 2005
Underlying neoliberal assumption that the housing market will take care of ensuring access to adequate and affordable homeownership for all
But continuing high levels of state subsidy through tax relief and housing benefit – restructuring or retrenchment ?